This Map Helps Visualize the Widespread Attacks on Gender-Affirming Healthcare in the U.S.
Behold, a cartography nightmare.
Usually I’m a big fan of maps. Love ’em! I get to see the far corners of the earth! What’s that little island there? How do you spell that mountain? Who in God’s name would wanna live in Nova Scotia? So many questions! Some many glorious answers! I want maps all over my walls so I can dream of far off vistas half the world away!
Except this map. This map sucks eggs.
Don’t get my wrong, I APPRECIATE this map. It was posted by my Twitter hero Alejandra Caraballo in order to chart the rise of anti-trans legislation in the United States. And boy is it rising. Rising faster than the floodwaters in Genesis. Maybe God will let trans people build an ark and sail our way outta here, two by two? Putting divine intervention aside, it’s important to visualize the now most dangerous areas of the country for trans people. It’s basically a huge “DON’T GO HERE” warning map. The sad thing is, there are now A LOT of places where trans people shouldn’t go.
So far 11 states have passed outright bans on trans-related healthcare. They are the usual suspects: Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and a few other notches in the Bible belt. However, the bans are not limited to Bible belt states alone, like the one in South Dakota. It’s also important to note, as Caraballo points out, that the states where these bans have been enacted are also the states where abortion is currently banned.
Meanwhile, three states have injunctions on bans and/or policies. What’s an injunction? Basically, it means that while the ban has passed, a court has ruled that the ban cannot be enforced, as it is subject to judicial scrutiny. It’s somewhat of a victory, but really more of a last defense agains the oncoming tide.
Finally, two states have passed restrictions on trans-related care: Arizona and Virginia. No surprises there.
While these are the only places where bans and restrictions have passed (whether or not they are being enforced) there are plenty more states that are attempting to follow suit into the becoming the 10th, 11th, and 12th circles of Hell. These states are South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Montana, and Idaho. These states are hard conservative and are likely to vote along party lines when these bills are on the voting floor. Meaning that trans people should get out while they still can if at all possible.
Other problematic states include Nebraska and Kansas, where a ban has been introduced but it could go either way. However, in both of these states there is a likelihood of such bills passing, and should be shoveled into the “don’t go here” rubbish bin just in case.
Finally, some states have a couple assholes in government who have proposed such bans, but they aren’t likely to pass. And by “a couple assholes” I mean “almost the entire conservative legislative body in that state’s government”. Conservatives seem worryingly unified in their ghoulish mission to upend trans rights. They are currently slumming it in Washington and Oregon, and even some surprising states like Vermont. I thought only ice cream and Bernie Sanders came from there? Guess not.
While this map quite literally paints a disturbing picture of anti-trans politics in the USA, all hope is not lost. Liberal stalwarts such as California, New York, and Maryland do not have any bans working their way through their legislative bodies. Others like Minnesota have proudly declared themselves to be trans-refuge states and will welcome trans people fleeing persecution in their home state. They will also refuse to extradite trans people and the parents of trans kids to their home states to face legal consequences. Because yes, some of these bills seek to make it illegal for trans residents to get healthcare in other states too.
Surprisingly enough, some safe havens remain in the south as well. North Carolina and Louisiana do not have any bans in their legislative bodies either. A friend from the south once told me that North Carolina is the better Carolina, and now I’m inclined to agree.
Overall, there are 34 states that have introduced over 124 bills to ban gender-affirming care, and that number is likely to go up. Yes, it is over half the country. Yes, it is terrifying. No, we will not be silenced. No matter what.
(featured image: Warner Bros, additions by TMS)
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